When it comes to levels of AI assistant popularity Samsung's Bixby is, well, erm... It's probably best not to go there. It's only available on expensive Samsung phones, and to top it off a lot of people don't really like it. That's compared to the others, which are all more readily available and in the hands of more people. Samsung's not going to let Bixby go anytime soon, and it's long been expected that the company will develop it's own Bixby-powered smart speaker to take on the competition. It just so happens that some details about that have leaked.
These leaks come from SamMobile, which claims that the speaker (codenamed Lux) will feature a display, and gesture-based controls, the ability to link multiple speakers together , and an overall system that's designed to be like Google Home but with more functionality. The site also claims the speaker will support Spotify from the get-go, with setup letting users choose their preferred music service.
Interestingly SamMobile claims Lux will be able to change the direction sound is played at, something that is fully under control of the user. It's not clear how this works, though it's suggested that it might use Wi-Fi beamforming to detect the user's smartphone or alternatively infra-red sensors. Both are things Samsung has patented over the years, so it's not outside the realm of possibility. All I can think of is whether you could tell it to pump audio through the wall, and get it to pump music towards that one neighbour who doesn't understand the concept of volume control.
It's not clear when the Bixy/Lux Speaker will launch, what it will look like, or even how much it will cost. What we do know, however, is that it's going to have its work cut out for it if it wants to be successful. Amazon and Google have dominated the smart speaker industry simply by having products available, and wile Apple was able to make a dent with the HomePod at launch, that particular device isn't supposed to be selling very well.
The Galaxy Note 9 is rumoured to debut on 9th August, though, alongside the second generation of Bixby, which would make it the ideal time to get the smart speaker out there before someone else can swoop in and steal its thunder. [SamMobile]